Nigerians are ‘desperately hungry’, they don’t need blame game – Saraki

The Nigerian Senate

The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has given the Federal Government guidelines to follow in putting an end to the current economic recession.

Mr. Saraki gave the guidelines in Abuja on Tuesday in his welcome to mark the resumption of the Senate from a seven week recess.

He said during the recess he interacted with various groups in Kwara who pleaded that everything should be done to put an end to the suffering of Nigerians.

Mr. Saraki, therefore, advised the Federal Government to among other things put in place a pro-business leadership-level engagement platform with the private sector to boost market confidence in the economy.

He also advised the government to raise money from sale of assets to shore up foreign reserves, calm investors and discourage currency speculation.

“The Federal Government should engage in meaningful dialogue with aggrieved militants in the Niger Delta and avoid an escalation of the conflict in the region.

“The National Assembly is very ready to play any role in the process.

“The Federal Government must consider tweaking the pension funds policy within international best practice safeguards to accommodate investment in infrastructure and mortgages.

“The government and the Central Bank of Nigeria must agree on a policy of monetary easing to stimulate the economy and harmonise monetary and fiscal policy until economic recovery is attained.

“The Federal Government must retool its export promotion policy scheme with export incentives such as the resumption of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) and introduce export financing initiatives.”

Mr. Saraki also advised the executive to consider releasing funds immediately to ensure the implementation of the budget for the near short term to inject money into the economy.

The upper legislative chamber also called for support for the agro-allied businesses to boost value addition and job creation.

He said it was pertinent that immediate, medium and long-term strategies were devised to ease the suffering of Nigerians especially those in the Internally Displaced Persons camps.

He also called on the lawmakers to play their own parts in the area of legislation to ensure that relevant laws were passed.

“We must ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill as soon as possible to stimulate new investment and boost oil revenue.

“As we all know, this bill is long in waiting and is very crucial for vital investment in the oil and gas sector.

“We will immediately begin the process of accelerating bills aimed at reforming the sub-sector for growth and accessibility. We must also explore the possibility of backing certain key government policies with legislation.’’

He said that Nigerians were not interested in knowing who caused the problems or which party was in government but only wanted solutions to the problems.

Mr. Saraki called for an urgent debate on the issue of recession devoid of blames or partisanship and with a view to proffering more lasting solution to the problem.

“It is clear to me that when people are desperately hungry, what they need is leadership with a clear vision; leadership whose daily actions reflect the urgency of the people’s condition.

“Therefore, our response to the current challenge must be dictated by the urgency of the hardship that the people suffer on a daily basis.

“I say this to urge us that we must have an urgent debate on the way forward, but in having this debate, we must resist the temptation of drowning the debate with apportioning blames that will neither bring solutions nor reduce the cost of food in the market.

“Rather, this debate must be solution-driven. It must be people-oriented and less political,” Mr. Saraki said.

Mr. Saraki said the debate should focus more on how to end the hunger in the land, save businesses from collapse and strengthen the naira over the dollar.

He, however, acknowledged that the solution would not come overnight and therefore called on the people to be patient, and said that the situation seemed dire, but Nigeria would pull out of it.

“I bring a message of hope not despair because once again, Nigeria shall overcome. Let no one writes us off. We have done it before, we will do it again.

“The world has come to know Nigeria as a people who have formed a habit of proving naysayers wrong and turning adversity into triumph.

“Many times, experts have quipped that Nigeria is finished but we come back stronger. This occasion will not be any different, but it will not happen by a slogan! No, it will take positive leadership and unity.”

The president of the Senate urged members to be committed to the debate, adding that this was the best time to show leadership and unity.

He assured that the Senate would show regular and effective oversight when working with the executive arm to steer the nation out of recession.

Mr. Saraki assured that the National Assembly would not hesitate in passing any legislation geared to stimulating the economy.

“Distinguished colleagues, let me also state clearly that we shall not hide under the cloak of partisan solidarity to abdicate our constitutional responsibility under the principles of checks and balances.

“We shall make critical interventions whenever they become necessary and undertake emergency actions whenever they are required within the confines of the constitution.

“The task at hand requires us to take tough decisions and do all that is necessary to dig our economy out of this recession.

“This imperative must take precedence over partisan loyalty. This is what the people expect of us and it is the only way we can continue to justify our presence here.

“This chamber is ready to receive and consider expeditiously additional proposals from the executive to create a new Nigerian economy and get us out of this recession as quickly as possible.”

He said that the problem should not be politicised so that solutions could be easily reached.

The Senate, thereafter, adjourned plenary to Wednesday as part of its tradition to mourn a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Adewale Oluwatayo.

Mr. Oluwatayo died on July 21, a day after the National Assembly proceeded on recess. (NAN)

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  • Akindele Thomas

    Premium Times Editor,

    Bukola Saraki must be brought to justice

    BUKOLA SARAKI is the least qualified to preach CHANGE. He is a detritus of the long list of treasury thefts
    which wrecked Nigeria. He is presently charged to court and standing trial for forgery and money laundering.
    It does not lie in his mouth to pretend to compassion for the victims of his fraud whilst he wallows in the mess.
    Bukola Saraki must be brought to justice for meaningful CHANGE to begin for the first time in Nigeria’s history.

  • FreeNigeria

    Wonder shall never end. This thief was governor of Kwara state, you’d have thought he transformed Kwara to an industrialized state.

  • Kaycee

    @disqus_vNgNHRex1N:disqus

    Bukola Saraki brings nothing good to public office;
    Neither knowledge nor honesty – except fraud, empty-headed and rubbish rhetoric;
    signifying nothing. He has never been reputed as a thinking mammal and will never be.

    His claim to fame comes from partly inherited and partly stolen wealth – as suspected.
    Take away that wangled trove of cash; including the 60 million dollars he stashed in
    Panama, there’s nothing left in Bukola Saraki’s half-empty life of lies, deceit, theft,
    and forgeries. That is not the portraiture of the sort of character Nigeria needs
    or should ever have in public office, again.

  • Kitunde

    He should know why Nigerians are desperately hungry-he is one one of the reasons why!

  • Ologbon

    Bukola Saraki has spoke theoretically so well and that’s okay. What he didn’t mention and which will help this country in her desire to get out of the recession ASAP are two critical things. 1. How the NASS will reveal and review their jumbo pays and those of their bloated aides so we can have more funds for infrastructural and other developments. 2. Dropping his pension and other perks he currently draws from Kwara State government till he vacates senate when he will draw just one pension. Also, he should be willing to make personal sacrifices of returning those anticipatory assets and those he stole from Societe General Bank, Kwara State and others stashed away in tax heavens that were recently discovered. He comes to equity must come with clean hands! A senate President who preachers sacrifice and transparency must be seen to do same. Nigerians are watching closely and Saraki and his likes should note that if the country is allowed to implode, they have everything to loose.

  • Chief Keef

    A thief offering solutions and palliatives to the victims he robbed.

  • Ogom

    “guidelines” before an investigation?

    I would have thought it would be the other way around?

    • Razorblade007

      The SP was only stating his own opinion/making his own contribution to set the ball rolling. How the press now equated that to issuing guidelines, even when the SP in the same speec said they will robustly debate and come up with recommendation beats me

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    If Nigerian senators and representatives are trulyy feeling the pains and poverty that Nigerians are going through then the lawmakers must resolve to eliminate constuencies allowances,clothing allowances,newspapers allowances,feeding allowances and transpotation allowances in order to save the nation,s treasuries of wastes huge funds which could be focus on vital infrastructureal development and modernize our medical institutions and revamp our education.

    • FreeNigeria

      Oga Dr, you are tell vultures not to eat carcasses

      • Tunji Olarewaju

        Lolzzzz!

    • Kamalu

      A Senate populated by evil men and women. Majority of them had the opportunity to make a difference when they were Governors and Ministers but they were blinded by greed and selfishness. Senator Saraki had better preach his sermons to the gods. Absolute Nonsense

  • Omoba1

    There is a fundamental problem with Nigerians and Nigeria and I ask why? We sit down and easily blame our leaders, but our leaders did not come from Mars, they are a reflection of our society. We don’t need foreigners to throw bombs in our country, we are the perpetrators.

    It is very hard to find a reliable Nigerian just so hard

  • ojays

    Hmmmm Bukky, Bukky ,Bukky u now k of that Nigerians are hungry ehn. when u and colleagues were stealing the common patrimony blind you don’t know people will be hungry. B4 we can listen return all ill-gotten wealth start from society generale, to kwara and ecological funds. do t forget the illegal acquisition of intercontinental bank by access bank and heritage bank. it’s all in the beer pallors. u are a ? leader so lead by example not only PMB all of you.

  • Kamalu

    A Senate that is populated with the likes of former Governors Saraki, Theodore Orji, Godswill Akpabio, Rabiu Kwakwanso, etc can only pay lip service to the current state of our country. These men, evil and heartless,drove the economies of their respective States southwards when they were in the saddle as governors. Senator Saraki should go and preach to monkeys because Nigerians are humans.

    • ayobamiba

      What about Oluremi thieftunbu,buruju kashamu and co

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    My suggestion to you Mr. Saraki is to establish a ‘Drop-in-Box’, where those politicians that have been too deft with their hand will drop in the ‘extra’ fund they acquired illegally and those they have found in excess of their needs for the use of Nigerians that are hungry! Words are cheap. What Nigerians need is solid action, my friend!.

  • ayobamiba

    Saraki is speaking to a man having ear challenges,how can he hear what he is saying.

  • ayobamiba

    The home truth is that buhari came to power without any iota of knowledge or understanding about governance much more under democracy. Buhari added Sault to his grievous injury by recruiting hollow minded mental dwarfs as his empty change team.what have held buharis calamitous inept government for this long have been the highest level of highly crafted lies ,falsehoods, deception and false promises. the truth is that lies can’t hold the ground for too long ,that’s why buhari have no choice but to go to the authorized dealer and fill his tank. Good luck ebele Jonathan was Gods elect for Nigeria, he came with the highest level of sincerity, humility, love even for those who hate him and spitefully used him,he assembled a team of great thinkers and forward looking Nigerians not minding their tribe,religion and ethnic leaning and they fashioned out the most practicable ,realistic and intelligent transformation agenda for the progress,unity,prosperity ,just ,equitable and well being of nigerians nation ,within five years of his leadership of Nigeria, Jonathan grew Nigerian economy to become the biggest in Africa and 16 in the world.he developed many strategic plans to make Nigeria great and the era of jonathan remained the golden hour of nigerian nation ,until the birth of the a conspiracy called APC ,an axis of evil that spared no known and unknown evil in their quest for political power.the end albeit temporarily, evil triumphed in Nigeria and mediocrity,false promises and lies triumphed over intelligience,reality and truth via jegas criminal manipulation of electoral processes . before one year ,all the 16 years Democratic gains of Nigeria was reversed with the speed of light and Nigeria was ran aground .Today Nigeria have fallen into a big pit called recession. buhari have no other choice but to accept superior reasoning alternative to his tumbling and fumbling sleep walking inept government. The bewitched free educated imbeciles have managed nigeria for 16 months ,the result is eloquently unambigous ,nigeria have crashed .May God shine his merciful light upon the heart,eyes and ears of buhari so he can throw away his preconceived malicious agenda and with love and open mind continue with the well thought out transformation agenda of amiable Jonathans government. That’s the right way to go if buhari means well for Nigeria.

    • Patrick

      Ayobamiba,you are the dump and deaf here.All the issues raised are not fresh.Just there days back,the Minister of finance and her colleague in Budget itemised these.You must have a challenged upbringing

      • Burning Spear

        Like the writer above said– u cannot bury truth-no matter how long u may attempt to cover the truth–with your regional lies——Truth will explode on your dirty regional face one day–someday–Nigerians are really sick and tired of the Luciferic rule of Buhari–except pig headed fools like your type rented by the Apes in APC to post comments for Bingo Buhari ati Tinubu–So would want the Satanic life style of the rogues in babariga and agbada in Aso Rock to continue unabated–The man has spoken the views of millions of 9jas–For over 4.6m humans to lose their jobs means a lot——And it is really sad that we still have rogues like u in our midst–Any wonder why the CIA imposed Buhari on us———-again—-with demonic thoughts like your in our midst-der is no hope for 9jas———————-animals—————

  • joe

    Why is this crook not in jail? What happened to the forgery case? How about the false asset declaration case ? Why is nobody talking about this criminal anymore?

    • vagabonds in power

      Is that why Nigerians are going dying of hunger————-and —–why the economy is on a standstill’ Monkey

      • joe

        Yes! that is why Nigerians are “going dying of hunger” – Because your paymaster is one of the people that stole the food from their tables and stole the future of their offspring (that is after looting a reputable bank to death and looting kwara state into oblivion). And you the slave and his errand dog are a partaker and a beneficiary of the robbery. You also have blood in your hand. Everytime you sit at a table to eat with your children, remember the thousands of other nigerian children that are dying of kwashiokor as a result of saraki’s crimes and the activities of his slaves like you.

  • vagabonds in power

    Shagari’s regime (1979-1983), incurred Buhari’s wrath when it decided to investigate the US$2.8 billion that disappeared from the Midland Bank, London account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation, (NNPC), during General Obasanjo’s era as military head of state that preceded Shagari’s. Dr. Olusola Saraki, Turaki of Ilorin, was the majority party leader of the Senate at the time and he headed the Senate Committee set up to trace the stolen money after some three years of clamour for such an investigation by members of the civil society. The money was traced to the Midland Bank London branch fixed account of Buhari, Obasanjo’s appointee as military head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company.On the 31st December, 1983, Buhari struck under the cover of the political commotion that trailed the presidential election results. Buhari generally had no agenda for leadership but vendetta against those he called critics and rabble-rousers. Buhari did not see any moral wrong in his conversion of our oil money into his personal use. Rather he railed at the press and what he described as the self-righteous sections of the country for making a big deal out of the issue. He locked up without trial, politicians including all the Yoruba governors under Awo and Late Fela among others–Sadly the same Yorubas are aiding Bingo Buhari to destroy the economy again-for the second time running–what a shame-

    • kamal

      Try and see a doctor, cos ur mental case is growing by d day

    • olaoye

      Hmmmm $2.8billion in deed. Can I ask you the total worth of the richest person in the world as at that time. With that amount Nigeria would have produce the richest man in the world at a time in person of Mr buhari , I dey laugh ooooo

  • KBE

    I will like to overlook the messenger and consider the message. This is a well reasoned message and perfectly delivered as well. I hope the Mr Know it all will consider this.

    • demgosoonknow

      Message is tainted by the foulness of the messenger. We have been listening to rotten messages since independence, make we hear word jare!

  • demgosoonknow

    This criminal called Saraki should please shut the F up! After stealing Nigeria and Kwara in particular blind, he has the temerity to talk about “no blame game” Useless thief

  • realist

    Where does Saraki get the freeness of speech to talk about the subject above. Each senator Goes home with over 2 million dollars, at the expense of the masses. He and his co- looters are directly responsible for the recession.

  • Omotolaaraujo

    Then, that criminal should give back the money he stole! When is he going to jail?

  • aisha ani

    Did Saraki just wake up or something?

  • Naira62

    Chameleon. Why not return all your ill-gotten money to the Federal Government first, then,we know you truly meant well with your advice.

  • Dayo

    Mr. Saraki doesn’t know about the hunger in the land when he has been engaging in the looting of our commonwealth.
    Taking gov pension as serving senator
    Senate finance shrouded in secrecy
    Jeep bribery to cover up ccb charges
    #panamapapers to mention a few.
    He should spare us the story and return our stolen funds simple.

  • Rommel

    The anti corruption war must be vigorously sustained so that those with looted wealth are driven off the market to enable the available funds determine value of goods in the market,this will bring goods to the reach of average citizens